Dork Radio
Now playing:
In the mag...
Featuring Sam Fender, Marika Hackman, Kim Petras and more.
Order a copy
August 2019
Album review

Empress Of - Us

‘Us’ is more playful but remains as raw and heartfelt as her debut.
Label: Terrible Records
Released: 19th October 2018
Rating: ★★★★
Empress Of - Us
Published: 6:38 am, October 16, 2018Words: Abigail Firth.

Where Lorely Rodriguez’s last album – 2015’s ‘Me’ – focused on herself, ‘Us’ is more playful but remains as raw and heartfelt as her debut.

There’s so much fun in songs that shouldn’t be. ‘Timberlands’ has pretty ballad-y lyrics propped up by some 80’s keyboards. Similar can be said of ‘I’ve Got Love’, although that plays out as more of a self-love anthem.

It’s those juxtapositions that make lead single ‘Trust Me Baby’ even more isolated in the context of the album. It’s the one track that’s really about yearning and desire, so why does it feel the least compelling?

It’s certainly not a representation of the record. The other nine tracks are far bouncier and more exciting, and it sounds a bit dull sandwiched in between ‘Just the Same’ and ‘Love for Me’.

A lot of these tracks are made far more interesting by Lorely’s voice. It’s got so much character; it gives plenty of life to simple, repetitive choruses like “you say that you love me/ I wanna know if you got love for me/ I wanna know if you got love for me”.

‘When I’m With Him’ arrives second to last as the LP’s highlight. It’s a welcome change of tone – it’s a super melancholy, almost-breakup song which ends up being the most believable.

Empress Of is entirely her own on ‘Us’. She notes she produced “about 70 percent” of the album, and it shows. No one else is really filling that gap between indie pop and experimental R&B. She keeps her experimental production but adds in catchy hooks, and it leaves her sounding like a more accessible version of FKA Twigs or Grimes.

Give all this a try

Together, Ider are a force to be reckoned with: "The heart of all the music we write is our friendship"
Feature

Together, Ider are a force to be reckoned with: "The heart of all the music we write is our friendship"

On Ider’s debut album ‘Emotional Education’, Lily Somerville and Megan Markwick are dishing out some life lessons.
Wade into the deep blue with Brighton-based foursome, Penelope Isles
Feature

Wade into the deep blue with Brighton-based foursome, Penelope Isles

The band have just released their debut, 'Until The Tide Creeps In'.
With the release of her new project ‘Clarity’, Kim Petras has well and truly arrived
Feature

With the release of her new project ‘Clarity’, Kim Petras has well and truly arrived

Kim Petras is a banger machine. ‘Do Me’, ‘Heart To Break’, ‘Feeling of Falling’, ‘I Don’t Want It At All’ - it’s just pop hit after pop hit. "I feel real confidence now," she explains, "and that’s really amazing."
The new issue of Dork, featuring Sam Fender is out now!
New issue

The new issue of Dork, featuring Sam Fender is out now!

We've been 'oop North' with our mate Sam for our brand new issue.
Like this? Subscribe to Dork and get every issue delivered direct to your door anywhere on the planet.
CONTACT PRIVACY ADVERTISE

© 2018 The Bunker Publishing